East Hampton Town Starts Planning Storm Resiliency

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East Hampton Town is starting work on its Coastal Assessment Resiliency Plan, an effort to strategize for coastal management in the face of coming sea level rise.

In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, the town was awarded two state coastal policy grants in 2014, totaling $435,000, to assess the town’s coastline conditions and develop a plan for addressing rising sea levels and worsening severe storm impacts.

The first phase of the initiative, the detailed scientific analysis of the existing coastal conditions and dynamics around the town’s more than 100 miles of coastline is already being conducted by Dewberry, a Virginia-based engineering firm.

After two rounds of requests for proposals, a town-appointed evaluation committee recommended to the board on Tuesday that the town hire GEI Consultants Inc. to help guide the drafting of the official resiliency plan.

“This … grant is looking at over the next 20 or 50 years what our relationship to the shoreline is going to look like,” said Jeremy Samuelson, a member of the evaluation committee. “The core notion here is that you are better off having a plan for how the world is going to change around you than just throwing your hands up and saying whatever happens, happens.”

The town will appoint a committee of officials and community representatives to help work with the town and the consultants on the drafting of the ultimate plan. Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc will head the appointment of the committee.

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